Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Are You an Artist?

I just attended an exhilarating conference in Detroit hosted by the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, titled: Rust Belt to Artist Belt III. This conference originated in Cleveland and we were fortunate to have it here in the Motor City this year.

I am not writing to tell you about the conference but about the attendees. There were approximately 300 people in attendance representative of all mediums such as: graphic designers, landscape designers, architects, photographers, fashion designers, sculptors,

painters and at least one jewelry designer…me!

I had the opportunity to mingle at the parties and during the breaks and I came up with an ice-breaking question, “Are you an Artist?” It was a simple enough of an inquiry, so I thought, but it provoked an emotional response that I did not anticipate.

“Me? An artist?” most replied with a look of confusion and self-doubt. One woman, in particular who held a Masters Degree of Fine Art, could not answer yes to this question.

Wow! This made me realize that most artists lack confidence.

But why?

If I ask my seven-year old niece if she is an artist she would say yes. I think the difference is, in her mind, she believes she is an artist. I am not sure if adult artists have lost that confidence along the way or if external forces like juries and judges have intimidated their beliefs. Or, are they comparing themselves to the esteemed and extolled?

I do not have the answer to why but I do know that if you want to succeed as a creative individual or own a creative business you must be shameless in announcing to the world that, you, are an artist!

My kindergarten teacher told my mother that I was going to be an artist when I grew up.

So I kept drawing. Then I painted. Then I was an advertising artist. Then I became a video producer. Now I am a jewelry designer that primarily beads with a little wire wrapping thrown in for fun.

Maybe it just takes one person to believe in you even if that one person is yourself.

In my heart and soul…I have always been an artist. Are YOU an artist?

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